The very popular luncheon that is scheduled every spring to thank a whole host of volunteers who provide Meals on Wheels for shut-ins was held in the Taylorton Room at Days Inn on May 16.
Debbie Augey, volunteer co-ordinator for the service, served as emcee for the short program that included the presentation of plaques and certificates of recognition to the various organizations, businesses and individuals who donate their time to drive around the city delivering noon meals to those who are unable to be mobilized, especially during the winter months.
Prior to the actual program, the 80 or more volunteers were entertained by the local chapter of the Red Hat Ladies accompanied by organizer Wilma Bjorndalen. They sang a number of old-time favourite tunes and on some occasions were joined by members of the audience.
Bernadette Wright, manager of home care south for the Sun Country Health Region, acknowledged the assistance the service receives from the local United Way and reminded the volunteers that “a lot of the clients wouldn't be able to stay in their homes without Meals on Wheels.”
Lori Carr, Estevan's lone representative on the Sun Country board of directors, also thanked the volunteers for their untiring efforts throughout the year and in some instances throughout several years.
Augey noted that five new corporate volunteers were being welcomed into the fold with Kohaly and Elash law firm, MNP accounting and the United Way checking in during the 2011 schedule and McGillicky Oilfield Construction and H&R Block more recently.
“They are giving us another five-and-a-half weeks of new drivers,” said Auger, referring to the additional teams.
Augey then noted that fewer meals were delivered this year, but said that this did not mean a drop off in the need for volunteers since the numbers are known to fluctuate.
She said, though, that in 2008 there had been over 5,000 meals delivered while last year there were 3,600 taken to the doors of those who required the service.
“We try to keep the delivery numbers for each team to 15 or less so you can get the job done in an hour,” she said.
The presentation of the thank you certificates began with the corporate groups that numbered 17, followed by nine church groups who were involved in the delivery program. A number of individuals who donate their time as meal deliverers and drivers were also acknowledged for their dedication and flexibility as they are able to respond quickly when one of the scheduled teams are unable to make a round.
Small gifts of appreciation for the volunteers who were able to attend were found at each luncheon place setting.